We are conducting technology field research in collaboration with Ashesi University College in Ghana on two environmental sustainability projects: water monitoring and management, and waste monitoring. In order to more efficiently utilize its water sources and handle waste in an environmentally sustainable manner, Ashesi desires the technological tools to track consumption, collection and dispersal of resources throughout the campus. During the spring of 2012, the team worked on the project’s technical and country-specific literature review, as well as management and dissemination strategies. To prepare for possible project solutions, the team also researched content management systems and relevant sensor options. This summer, the team will continue its research by traveling to Ashesi and performing an in-depth needs assessment to become knowledgeable about the campus’ current conditions, systems, behaviors and attitudes toward the issues of water and waste among campus community members. This will be followed by solution brainstorming, prototype development, testing, and evaluation. The team approaches field work from a participatory research framework with Ashesi being an integral partner that can best articulate its priorities. The iSTEP team draws from the disciplines of anthropology, economics, public policy, civil engineering, computer science, and design to uniquely approach Ashesi’s distinct challenges.
We will continue to update about our projects as they progress this summer!